Tuesday, February 28, 2006

John Henry WAS a Steel-Drivin' Man

I grew up with various versions of John Henry, from the hagiographic to the satirical, but always figured it was just folk legend. Some historians think that it actually happened
at the Great Bend Tunnel in Talcott, W.Va., in 1872. John "Bill" Dillon, a historian who lives in Talcott, says the purpose of the competition was to see who could get through the mountain the fastest.

"The drill drove one nine-foot hole, but John Henry drove two seven-foot holes," he says. "Well, [compare] 14 feet to nine feet, and you know who was faster."
Of course, it did kill him. That part's true, too, they say.

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